What They Really Really Want – Rewards for Middle Grade Kids

Reward Ideas for Middle Grade Kids

Sooner or later it happens.  Your middle grade kids hit that age where they are no longer interested in the “prize box”.  The girls decide that they’re watching their weight and no longer want candy.  And sometimes you just need those little rewards to get your kids motivated in the right direction!  What do you do now?

With middle grade kids, it’s all about spending time with friends, spending time doing something different from the classroom routine.  They may no longer like the cheesy prizes, but they still enjoy the fun and games.

Here are some ideas:

Tickets or Coupons

  • tickets that can be spent on turns at a minute-to-win-it style game on Friday
  • tickets for a raffle
  • tickets for classroom privileges
  • “Questions Off” coupons for a shortened assignment or quiz
  • homework pass
  • “Phone a Friend” coupon for classroom help


  • minutes accumulated toward a future fun activity
  • talk time
  • free time on computer

Class Privileges

  • line up at the door before the bell
  • be in charge of calling on other students to answer
  • sit on top of a desk in the back row
  • sit in the teacher’s rolly chair
  • lead an activity (and be excused from that grade)
  • assist other students
  • be the class researcher (look up any questions that come up on the computer)
  • work in student’s choice of location in the room
  • visit the library
  • listen to an audio book


  • sit with a friend
  • photo of student with a friend to post in the classroom


Fun Stuff

  • word puzzles
  • short, funny videos
  • music (instrumental) to listen to while working
  • art time
  • craft time
  • use of a quick toy such as a slinky or a yo-yo
  • write or draw on the white board

Which did my kids like best?  From year to year, time to just talk to friends was always the hands down favorite!

What They Really Really Want - Middle Grade Kids

On a different note, if you’re looking for some educational activities that will keep kids motivated, a big favorite is always task cards – you can use them in so many different ways.  For task cards designed with middle grade kids in mind – with appealing graphics and plenty of content –  check out these selections:

Spring Task Cards  Parts of Speech Task Cards

Characterization Kids Task Cards Analogy Task Cards

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